The Mammoth Paint Sealant FAQ

DannyDanny Argent ~ 25/4/08

(This article is not about paint sealants FOR mammoths, although if anybody has one they want done,
please let us know and we'll see what we can do)

Porscche Paint Sealant  

We decided to write an FAQ about sealants because we get a lot of questions about them... we didn't realize quite how many until we checked back through our email for the last year. We were amazed, and obviously this FAQ is long overdue!

You should be able to find the answers to your questions below, but if you don't, just type your question into the comments box at the bottom of the page and we'll answer it too.

 

Hot Topic - I haven't got my car yet, how quickly can I get it booked in?
Hot Topic - How soon should I get my car done?

How does it work?
I heard it isn't as good as a carnauba wax?
I heard it is a waste of money.
How can a sealant possibly last more than five years?
I heard the interior treatment attracts dust?
Doesn't the small print mean the guarantee is worthless?
They say you don't have to wax your car, but you have to use the aftercare kits!
Hot Topic - Can I clean my car in a car wash?
Can I use Dry-Wash products over my sealant?
Hot Topic - Can I wax/polish over supagard?
I read that it's no better than a decent quality wax.
Never wax your car again?
Nano Technology?
Teflon Can't stick to your car because it's non stick.
Hot Topic - What happens if I need a panel repainted?
Paint sealants make it tempting to neglect your car.
How shiny does it make your car?
What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?
Hot Topic - How can I tell is the dealership put the sealant on my car?
Apart from the certificate there is nowhere on the car to say that it has been treated.
I received no products or written instructions from the garage.
Does a sealant effect the value of my car?
Hot Topic - How long does it take to apply it?
Can I use my Supagard paint seal cream now?
How often should I treat the car with the yellow supagard polish?
How good is the Supagard Cream and shampoo compared to other makes?
How do I use Diamondbrite Conserver?
Will my car be shiner if I have it paint sealed twice?
Supagard was applied at the dealership, can you change it?
I have tar spots, how can I remove them without removing the paint sealant?
Can I dry it with a chamois or will this damage the sealant?
Which sealant do you recommend?
Which sealant is best for metallic colours?
Which sealant gives the best shine?
Will a sealant go on my caravan?
Where can I get a copy of the terms and conditions?
They said my car was protected, but it's already showing scuffs inside and out.
My car is dirty, my sealant isn't working!
Can I apply sign writing over the top, or should I have the sealant done after?
How do the sealants you sell compare with GuardX, A-Glaze, TST?
How good are sealants that cost a few pounds from online motor accessory shops?
Is it okay to use a water lance/pressure washer or will this strip off the sealant?
I live next to a railway line, will a sealant protect my car for fallout?
Does a sealant protect my paintwork from bird poo?
Does the it give the car a shiny waxed look or do you still need to wax?
Do your prices also include protection for the alloys?
Hot Topic - How long does it take for you to apply the protection?
Do I pay extra for the car to be cleaned/valeted first or is this included in the price?
I have a paint sealant, but now have stone chips... how do I get this fixed?
My car was paint sealed, so how do I remove the swirl marks?
I had Supagard leather treatment and it didn't leave a shine.
I tested my fabric protection and the water soaked in. Has it worn off?
My seats are stained despite the protection.
I have the wheel sealant, but still can't get my wheels clean.
Can fabric hoods be treated?
Can it be applied to glass?
Hot Topic - Where can I buy the after care stuff?
How do I apply it myself?
...and here are some more that we have been asked during the writing of this article:-
Hot topic - Can I have it on my old car?
How can I get it off?
Hot Topic - How long before I need to get it done?
Does it protect against damage like scratches?

How quickly can I get my car booked in?
Our lead time is usually about 1-2 weeks, although we sometimes get cancellations and can fit you in at short notice.

How does it work?
This is a good question, and although the Paint sealant companies provide plenty of graphics and diagrams, there is very little that they provide for more enquiring minds who would like to know a little about the chemistry. We have asked these questions, and quite frankly, as we are not chemists, we didn't fully understand the answers! (which is probably why the sealant companies don't include them in their advertising) But I'll explain it best I can in layman's terms...
First we need to explain what a paint sealant is not - it is not a wax.
A car wax is made of waxes and oils which are all fairly similar in chemical composition, and the long-chain molecules bond to each other end-on-end. This means that they aren't very strong, especially as waxes have such a low fracture point. In other words, they melt when it gets hot, so the life of a wax is limited to months.
There are other products that call themselves sealants, but this is American terminology for synthetic (Polyethylene) waxes as opposed to natural waxes.

The paint sealants we are talking about are made from plastic polymers. The plastics vary from brand to brand and we aren't privy to their secret formulas, but these may be PVC, Polyurethane, acrylic, PTFE (Teflon) or a blend of these. Some of these sealants require a catalyst to make them cure (polymerisation), once they do, the polymers make up three dimensionally cross linked chains of polymers which are many times stronger than wax and also far more resistant to heat. In this respect, sealants are much close to a paint, varnish or aircraft dope than to a normal car wax.

You may now be thinking that your car already has a coat of lacquer, so why have a sealant? The clear coat applied to your car at the factory goes on thick in a spray, when seen under a microscope it is very rough and full of pin holes and looks splattered on. These holes can make your paintwork soak up water like a sponge. It is estimated that an unwaxed or sealed car's paintwork can absorb over a pint of water every time it rains (this is water getting into the paint, not on it). Any impurities in the water collect in these holes and begin to break down the binders in the coating. A paint sealant goes on thinly, filling the holes and smoothing over the roughness resulting in a finish that is more waterproof and has less for dirt to cling to. You can feel the difference.

I heard it isn't as good as a carnauba wax?
It all depends on your definition of 'good'. Because Sealants are essentially plastic, they they have different properties to a normal wax. A pure carnauba wax is hard and fairly durable, but it is never applied to a car in a pure form, it's usually mixed with other waxes and oils which remain soft and even wet. Hardly surprising that it's easier to get a 'wet look shine' with these products. Waxes can also give better optical clarity than plastics, and some people say they can give your paintwork "warmth".
So yes, good quality wax products can give you a fractionally warmer, deeper shine, but some waxes, especially with high silicone content while making your car look wet and glossy can look dreadful in strong light. But either way you will have to keep re-applying them. And when it comes to protection, they don't come close to a sealant.
The people who claim carnauba waxes are better tend to have a passion for cleaning and waxing their cars (or they sell wax), while people who buy paint sealants tend to want to avoid waxing their cars.
But you can have the best of both worlds, you can add extra gloss and shine to your car by applying a wax over the top of a paint sealant if that's what tickles your fancy.

I heard it is a waste of money?
So have we, all the time! Some manufacturers of waxes even go so far as to say that it's a rip-off because they don't work. Some valeters say the same, especially those in America. They fear that if cars don't need waxing, they will lose business. There are many vested interests... and unfortunately, a lot of people voicing opinions. You know what they say about opinions!

The longer you plan on keeping your car, the more a paint sealant will pay you back, it will make a huge difference to the condition of your car over 5-6 years. As a happy coincidence, it's these older cars that show a larger percentage price difference between a car in poor condition and one in VGC.

But once you are convinced that sealants do work, the money aspect is what really sells the product to you. After all, if they keep your car looking young, then it will depreciate far more slowly. Cars these days are mechanically reliable and so the resale value is heavily dependant on cosmetic appearance. The market price of a sealant package tends to be around £299-£450, but the difference it can make to the resale value 3 years from now will be £1000-£1500 on a basic model, on prestige cars it will be £3,000-£4,000 -- this usually equates to about a 15-20% price difference but can be as much as 50%. (Values taken from CAP price guide). Obviously this is based on the overall condition of the car, not just the paintwork, a sealant package can help protect many areas including fabric and alloy wheels. You could achieve almost the same result by polishing and waxing your car every Sunday , wind, rain sleet or shine, but wouldn't you rather spend your free time? How much is an hour of your time worth to you? We think you would need to spend something like 78 hours over 3 years to get the same results.

When you look at it that way £299 would be cheap at twice the price.

"i thought id share my 16 years motor trade experience with you, most car dealers will try to sell a paint protection/sealant package on new and used cars, often costing £200-300 or more

most of your £££ goes into the salemans pocket, and the paint protection warrenty is worded in a way that you will never make a claim from them...yes its a rip off!!

so....dont buy the sealant package, use a good quality car shampoo often and wax your car 4 times a year (more if you can), that will protect it just as well for £25 a year in products"

This was taken from the forums over at moneysavingexpert.com

When you read the above paragraph, there is no real argument there except that maybe some car salesmen earn too much money... and have too much time on their hands (I wonder how often he waxes HIS car?).
It is true, often a lot of the money does go into the pocket of the salesman, but some dealerships take sealants more seriously and pay the person who applies it. As for the idea that you can't use the warranty, if the sealant has been applied properly you won't need to us it, and the way it is worded is addressed further down the page.
The difference between us and a dealership is that we see the cars come back again years later and we know that sealants do work. They can help you keep your car in tip-top condition... when you come to sell your car and get it valued, you will find the difference between a car in poor condition and one in "VGC" condition is considerable at an average of 15-20% -- that can equate to £4,800 on a high value car like a 3 year old Porsche Carrera 4.
It's also true that you might be able to get similar results by washing and waxing your car yourself... but we don't do we? We start off with good intentions but lets face it, few of us have the discipline to keep this up over a period of years through all the seasons. But even if you do, we just don't believe you can get the same results that a sealant will give in the long term. You'll have to judge for yourself when you have seen the photos on this page and in our articles.

How can a sealant possibly last more than five years?
Because a sealant isn't a wax (See Question 1). It's car closer to a coat of paint or varnish. With minimum amount of maintenance, a paint sealant can last well over 10 years if cared for.

This 16 year old car was treated with Diamondbrite 6 year sealant (Diamondbrite now comes with a lifetime guarantee) when new and hasn't been waxed or polished since, just washed with Diamondbrite Conserver. Full article here

I heard the interior treatment attracts dust
I don't normally use emotiocons on this website, but this one best sums up my reaction to this...
Please remember, there are people out there deliberately trying to rubbish paint sealant products because they have their own vested interests. This is a very competitive industry. Some of the things that people are hearing are so ridiculous, that the only way they could enter the rumour mill is if somebody was deliberately sitting down making-up a list of objections... unfortunately, we do know of at least one over-zealous business owner who is hell bent on proving his waxes are unbeatable.

Doesn't the small print mean the guarantee is worthless?
Certainly not. It's a sad fact that there are people who if given an inch will take a mile -- we actually know about one 'gentleman' who demanded that a sealant company buy him a new car because it got scratched. Such people will push their luck if they think they can profit from it. Such people are rare, but we come across one about once a year and unfortunately we too have to write small print that helps us rid ourselves of them.

The proof of the pudding is that we have applied thousands of paint sealants over the years and had only one complaint (from somebody who expected to be able to see the sealant like a thick coating of glass).
Because of our prominence on the internet and position as leading independent application centre, we sometimes mistakenly receive the complaints intended for the sealant companies, which we always pass-on and follow up. To our knowledge, every one of these has been due to faulty application or missing after-care kits... and all but one has been resolved to the satisfaction of the customer.

All the companies defend their reputations jealously, and despite what may be written in the guarantee, they always honour them for genuine customers.

They say you don't have to wax your car, but then say you have to use the after-care kits!
We believe that a good quality wax will offer protection for about 5 months... but that doesn't mean that if you apply it your car will have that 'just waxed' look for 5 months, and then suddenly look dull after 5 months and 1 day. The wax coating wears down, and if you want a 'just waxed' look, you will probably have to wax it every couple of weeks.

It's much the same with a paint sealant... a product like Supagard will give very good protection for 3 years with no maintenance, but this stuff isn't magic and it isn't bullet proof. It won't look like new for it's entire life -- it will look much better than a car without a paint sealant, but there will be some oxidization, some light scratches and some grime that won't shift with normal washing (lime scale for example).

Each sealant company deals with this in it's own way. Diamondbrite comes with Conserver which is a 'wash & wax' type product. You will still need to wash your car with any paint sealant and so by using this product to wash your car, you are not adding another job to the maintenance regime. This product is similar in composition to the the original sealant and so acts like a top-up, adding to the protection and putting back some of the shine. It can also be used neat as a polish for areas that have lost their edge.

Supagard comes with it's own PH neutral shampoo, and also comes with 'Cream'. This is more like a polish, but is very hard work to use -- but it does have a very high Carnauba wax content which makes it very shiny. If you do decide to use it, apply and remove panel-by-panel. It's best used just for areas that you feel may need some attention. For example, the lead edge of the bonnet takes a lot of punishment and gets covered in squashed flies. It can also be used to treat areas that have been hit by bird mess.

As for AutoGlym Lifeshine, it has no pretensions to being a low-maintenance system. The Lifeshine forms the base, but AutoGlym's Super Resin Polish (SRP) is applied over the top. As the SRP gives very good protection on it's own, this package is 'belt and braces'. In fact, the full kit comes with Extra Gloss Protection (EGP) too, which can be applied over the top for an extra wet-look-shine.

The majority of people wanting paint sealants are attracted by the fact that they don't have to wax or polish their cars, as a result that is how they are marketed. But AutoGlym Lifeshine throws new light on the subject, showing us that they are not a 3-5 year wax, instead it is better to think of them as a treatment for you paintwork which hardens it making it more durable. It's hard enough to last 3 years without waxing, but to keep it looking fresh and glossy, a little wax and polish won't go amiss.

Can I clean my car in a car wash?
We charge around £600 for paintwork correction, it takes up to 3 days, and much of the time it involves repairing car-wash damage.
So please do! Better still, clean your car with a yard broom or Brillo-pad.
You may wish to read these articles:
Car Wash Damage.
Cheap 'valeting'.

Can I use Dry-Wash products with a paint sealant?
Absolutely!

Can I wax polish over Supagard?
That depends what you mean by polish. A polish in the true sense of the word is an abrasive product, and although you can use these, it's not advised to use them too often or products that are too harsh.
Likewise, some waxes contain strong solvents which we would advise against using on some sealants.
The products we would recommend are:-

For restoring the shine:
AutoGlym Super Resin Polish
AutoSmart Luxury Wax Polish
Innotec Easy Polish

For adding extra gloss:
JewelUltra Protective Glaze Sealant
AutoGlym Extra Gloss Protection
AutoSmart Protective Sealer Polish

For dark coloured cars:
AutoGlym Ultra Deep Shine
AutoSmart Protective Sealer Polish

For speed and ease of use:
AutoGlym Aqua Wax - This is quick and gives a great shine
Dry Wash Products - They are a method of cleaning your car, but provide their own shine.

As a side note, these are the products we always recommend for any vehicle regardless if it has a sealant or not.

The small print of your warranty may say you can use an equivalent product to the manufacturer's own. Or it may say you have to use their products. This is basically to cover them in the event that you use something inappropriate -- the products listed above ARE suitable.

I read that it's no better than a decent quality wax?
See item 2

Never wax your car again?
We think this 'tag line' may be overstating things a little - not that it's inaccurate, but it does give the impression of needing no maintenance, some people read into this that they don't even need to wash their car! You do need some maintenance, but if you choose the right package to suit your needs, then you won't have to wax your car the whole time you own it.

But waxing over the top of your sealant will do it no harm and can even improve the finish.

Nano Technology?
Nano Technology is the technical name for 'really small stuff'. If you are expecting microscopic robots that clean your car and repair damage, you will be disappointed although this is the hope for the future. For the time being, the only nano technology to have found an application are the really tiny particles of stuff like titanium dioxide which can now be found in sun screen lotion. You will probably find this kind of ingredient in all sorts of product from now on. www.nanotechproject.org keeps a database of products that contain genuine nano technology... for what it's worth.
(EuroChem are a company that produce various Nono-Tech products, we are currently testing their products and hope to be able to report back on them soon. Here is an article about them)

Teflon can't stick to your car because it's non stick.
Utter nonsense I'm afraid!
Teflon is just a brand name for a range of products of which Du Pont has many variations including PFA and FEP. As for polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) there are lots of companies making it and related chemicals - Variants of it are used as non-stick coatings for frying pans, and it's true, this coating does have to be heated on at a temperature much hotter than you would heat a frying pan. But other variants are used in Gore-Tex and other weatherproof and stain resistant clothing, the Millennium Dome is largely made of PTFE, and can even be found as a lubricant and paint additive. Not all forms of fluoropolymer need to be heated on.
Find out more on the Teflon Website.

As far as I know, there are very few companies now using "Teflon" in their products because they have to pay Du Pont an arm and a leg for the privilege of using the brand name. Du Pont do have their own car care products containing Teflon which came out shortly after one of their egg-heads stated that Teflon in car care products had no benefit.
My own enquiries into the matter lead me to believe he may have been right, at least when talking about car wax... but Sealants are not wax, they are polymer based... and Teflon is a fluoropolymer.

What happens if I need a panel repainted?
This is not a problem, in fact, insurance companies budget for it, and most body shops will have some in stock. But don't expect them to go looking for the sticker in the window... if you want it done, tell insurance company about it so they put it on the work order.
If you aren't going through your insurance company, then you can come back to us and we will re-apply it to the repaired panels for a small fee.

 

Paint sealants make it tempting to neglect your car.
This is the only criticism of paint sealants that we think is valid. Some people have a sealant applied and then take the view that they have to do very little. A better attitude to take is to think that you have to keep your car in tip-top condition in order to maintain it's value... and then finding you have to do very little. With a sealant package, you will find that your car stays cleaner for longer, is easier to clean. Nor should you have any problems with the seats staining, the whole car becomes far easier to manage, but you should still try to manage it instead of assuming that it will take care of it's self.

How shiny does it make your car?
This is a difficult question to answer... unless you have a gloss meter, any answer is going to be subjective without scientific testing. I can tell you that as a result of wind tunnel testing, Formula One teams use similar sealants on their cars, to help make them more aerodynamic and reduce drag (ballistic co efficiency), which doesn't say much about the visual appearance but goes to show that physical properties give real-world results. (We have been asked to help produce sealants with aqua phobic properties on Honda racing boats, the results of which were very positive).

A sealant does make the car shiny enough that you will notice a difference in how often your car gets dirty. It makes the surface so smooth that dirt has a harder time clinging to it. And because the surface is so smooth it does reflect lots of light and you will find your car looks very glossy when you first collect it. But the real beauty is what happens as your car ages. We estimate that after 1 year, your car will be about 15% glossier, and after 2 years, it will be 20% glossier than a car without sealant even if it has been waxed regularly.

Supagar on Toyota
Proof of the pudding - A 6 year old Toyota Rav4 still looking great.
Full article here

What is the airspeed velocity of an unladen Swallow?
This question is in here just to see if you are paying attention and it depends on if you are asking after an African or European Swallow.
After extensive research (on Google) we can be fairly certain that an unladen European Swallow has an air speed velocity of 11 meters per second. However, we believe that if it were possible to paint seal a swallow, it would be a little bit quicker.

How can I tell is the dealership put the sealant on my car?
This is a very good question, and we get asked variations of it very regularly, that's why I'm posting up two similar questions (see below).
There is no real way to tell, or if it was done properly. You can't see a sealant enough to be able to tell. If you did half-and-half I have very little doubt you could see the difference as the sealant would look and feel far more glossy. But a new car will look glossy anyway even without a wax or sealant so there is nothing to compare too. Even if your new car does look especially glossy compared to the others in the showroom, who is to say if they applied a sealant or a normal wax.
Basically it's all down to trust. We suggest you use this check sheet and if you don't think your dealership 'smells' right, then take your custom elsewhere... there are plenty of companies out there who are prepared earn your money.

The dealership treated my car with Supaguard inside and out, apart from being given a certificate there is nowhere on the car to say that it has been treated.
Supaguard should come with a sticker that goes in the window, as does Lifeshine and Diamondbrite*.
If the person who applied the sealant couldn't take the time to put the sticker on to say it's been done, how do you know he did the rest of the car properly? In fact how do you know it's been done at all? And that is exactly the argument I would give to the dealership.
I suggest you go back to the dealership and demand they do it again and tell them you want to watch this time. And just for good measure, I would keep Supagard informed.

*Diamondbrite started hiding their stickers in the aftercare packs a while ago. We have only just found them upon asking our rep why they no longer supply them... we have no need to look in the aftercare kit you see. So if you had Diamondbrite and the sticker wasn't applied, it may because the person who applied it didn't find the sticker... although you should have got an aftercare kit with the sticker in.

I received no products or written instructions/literature (only
the guarantee documents) from the dealership which I thought was really strange,
I did go in and ask them if I was purposed to have a kit and they said no.

Even the very most basic packages for Diamondbrite, Supagard and Lifeshine come with some after-care kit, even if it's just a small cardboard box with a couple of bottles in it.

A dealership would normally be selling a sealant package as a package... which would be the whole thing including guarantee and aftercare. A valet company might do something slightly different as a special deal or special offer, as we do!

All I can say is, before you sign on the dotted line, or hand over any money, make sure you are 100% clear about what you are getting. Usually there are several levels of service with several after-care packages. And if you are shopping around looking for the cheapest price, make sure you are comparing like with like.

Does a sealant effect the value of my car?
Although it's impossible to put a figure on it, the answer is undoubtedly yes. Apart from the obvious, that your car will stay looking fresh and newer, it is an extra selling point.
In fact, we are hearing that when people trade their cars in, some dealerships are asking if the car has been treated (such as Essex Ford). They know that if somebody has taken the trouble to seal a car, then this is a good indicator that a car has been looked after and cared for. They know that it will be easy to put life back into the paintwork, and get the upholstery clean. And they know that when they trade it on that they can list the paint sealant as an extra feature.

how long does it take to apply it?
It depends on the car. Even with a brand new car it can take one man 3-5 hours. Much of this is preparation, but it needs to be left to cure before the residue can be removed. This last stage is fairly hard work and requires care and a methodical approach. When done properly, the valeter will put a very generous coating over every millimetre of paintwork, which once cured takes vigorous buffing to remove. Because this is quite physically demanding, when we do this at New Again/Clean Image, we often all chip in to help.

With used cars, there is far more preparation involved. There is no point in sealing in dirt, stains, environmental contamination and scratches. So a car may well be treated for industrial fallout and buffed on the outside, and shampooed and steam cleaned on the inside before application of the sealant can begin.

If you are having the car done with us, we will need your car for one half a day if it is a new car, the whole day if we need to prepare the car.

Can I use my Supagard paint seal cream now?
You can use it straight away, but you shouldn't need to. In fact, because this product is so much hard work as a top-up, we suggest that if you just want to give your car an extra shine, use a commercially available wax instead, and use the Cream as an area treatment for places that are getting more wear, contaminated by squashed flies, tar spots, or damaged by light scratches.
It is good stuff, but very hard work. If you want to do your whole car with it, apply and remove panel-by-panel.

How often should I treat the car with the yellow Supagard polish?
That's a bit like saying, "How often should I clean my house". As with most car care products, you should use them when the car needs it. Some people never use the cream at all, instead just using a wash-&-wax when they wash the car. But if it was me, I'd do it maybe once a year, and then washing my car I'd use it to do any lightly scratched areas, for example around the door handles and on the leading edge of the bonnet, essentially using it as a polish and scratch remover/hider.

Remember, it isn't provided for the protection, it's provided mostly for the shine.

How good is the Supagard Cream and shampoo compared to other makes?
They are top quality in as much as they work -- they do what they say on the tin, and they do it well. They are expensive but they do go a long way.
And as I have said several times in this FAQ, the Cream is very hard work to use, but it doesn't really compare to other makes because nobody does anything quite the same.
As for their other products, their Leather Care kit is second to none, The best on the market by far. The Bird lime neutraliser is as far as I know unique and a fantastic idea that I wish I had thought of myself (Oh wait! I did! about three weeks before they launched the product!).
The water disperser is maybe a bit of a novelty product, but I like it. And again, this is not a common item.

How do I use Diamondbrite Conserver?
There are two methods, the first is to follow the instructions on the bottle. The second is to pour some directly onto your wash mitt (sponge if you must) and rub it in.
But whatever you do children, don't do what I have done! I tried to put it on really thick, almost neat, and then rinse it off. I may have got better results if the phone hadn't rung and I left it on the car to dry for half an hour. It took 2 of us almost 3 hours to remove - we had to treat it almost like a paint decontamination. This proved in my mind that this is unlike any other product and is unique to Jewelultra's Diamondbrite.
It can be used neat to treat damaged areas (light scratches, bird lime, water stains etc. ) but work on little areas and don't get it near the plastics or rubbers.

The instructions on the old style bottles does say that you can apply it to the bonnet and front wings of your car before going through a machine wash... frankly I can't quite see how this works.

Will my car be shiner if I have it paint sealed twice?
Possibly.
There is no need to do a car twice if it was done right the first time, but it certainly won't do any harm if you can afford it.

Supagard was applied at the dealership, but I have Diamondbrite on my other cars, can you change it?
We can't really remove the Supagard, but you could have Diamondbrite put on top. It wouldn't do any harm... at least we haven't had any complaints so far.

I have tar spots, how can I remove them without removing the paint sealant?
Use your after-care product and some elbow grease to remove it.
For Diamondbrite this would be neat Conserver.
For Supagard this would be Cream.
For AutoGlym's LifeShine this would be Super Resin Polish.
This should do the trick, if not, use a Tar and Glue remover, and then retreat with your afore mentioned after-care product.
No commercially available product for removing tar spots should have a serious effect on the sealant, but the products you were provided with should be enough to remove tar spots without you having to go out and buy other products.

The dealership told me to just rinse the car off, can I dry it with a chamois or will this damage the sealant?
The new Supagard kits come with a water dispersant, the idea is that you don't have to dry your car. But if you want to, and it will give you a slightly better finish if you do, then this is fine. You can use a chamois, synthetic chamois, microfibre towel or a snow blower if you have one. The merits of each method will be discussed elsewhere, but rest assured, if you follow all the normal precautions they won't cause your sealant any harm.

Which sealant do you recommend?
We recommend all of them!
Each of them is different, and which one you choose will depend on your circumstances. As a general rule of thumb, if you are keeping your car for 3 years and want to do very little maintenance, then Supagard is the one for you. If you are keeping your car 5 years or more and don't mind a little maintenance then Diamondbrite. If you actually enjoy waxing your car then AutoGlym LifeShine.
There are other factors which might effect what we recommend or what you choose, but usually it's that simple.

Which sealant is best for metallic colours?
It doesn't seem to make a difference.

Which sealant gives the best shine?
We can't make up our minds. Some cars seem to gleam that little bit more than others after a sealant as if some colours and sealants are made for each other. But I'm sure it's subjective. We certainly can't make up our minds and disagree among ourselves.

Will a sealant go on my caravan?
Yes, in fact Supagard now have a special caravan package, and very nice it is too. We do these in the late autumn and winter.

Where can I get a copy of the terms and conditions?
It would probably best if you go straight to the manufacturers for the latest up-to-date paperwork. After all, this is there agreement with you, we have our own T&C which are on our appraisal forms.

They said my car was protected, but it's already showing scuffs inside and out.
Neither the paint sealant or the fabric or plastic protection amount to a bullet proof suit of armour. They are mainly to protect from dirt, oxidization, UV and staining. The coating does seem to make the paintwork that little bit harder, and therefore a bit more scratch and stone-chip resistant, but this is more of a side effect than a feature.

My car is dirty, my sealant isn't working.
Even Teflon gets dirty! Having a paint sealant does not mean you don't have to clean your car.

Can I apply stickers or sign writing over the top, or should I have the sealant done after?
Put your stickers on top.
Unfortunately, there is no such thing as 100% UV stable paintwork, and some fading usually occurs during a vehicles life, so when stickers are removed you can see where they were. A sealant helps protect the areas of paintwork not covered by the stickers. It also protects the paintwork from the solvents in the stickers adhesives, so we highly recommend having a sealant before stickers are applied.
But if you apply it after the stickers, they effectively act as a mask, and when you come to pull them off you will get a hard edge. Sealants do have a thickness, even if very, very slight, but you can see it on a hard edge.

How do the sealants you sell compare with GuardX, A-Glaze, TST, etc.
There are many sealants on the market now, although some of them are re-branded. We sell the market leaders, and although some of the others are also very good, we feel that Supagard, Diamondbrite and Lifeshine deserve their place at the top of the market both on performance, and more importantly on after-care and the overall package. We are not tied in with any particular company... we can sell any product we feel is best, and that's what we do.
Here are some other paint sealants, many of which we have tried, all seem to do what they say on the tin (although we can't vouch for some of the claims made on some American web sites), and needless to say, we do not recommend DIY application.
Gard-X, Amazing Glaze, A-Glaze, TST, ToughSeal/EuroChem, Royal Shield, 5 Star Shine, Glare UK, ValuGard.

How good are the sealants that cost a few pounds from on-line motor accessory shops.
They are very good, amazing in fact. But they aren't the same thing. If you can buy it in a motor accessory shop, then it is a synthetic wax product, and therefore it's performance will be on a par with natural wax products against which they measure up very well. But it is 'apples and oranges', they are a completely different product to the paint sealants we sell.
I'm told that in America, you are not allowed to call a synthetic wax product a 'wax' as a result of a court case many years ago, as a result these products are called "sealants" and the name has traveled to the UK and Europe. Over here, most synthetic waxes products still have "Car Wax" on the bottle. These waxes may contain polymers but as a general rule are mainly waxes and therefore lack the life span of polymer products.

Is it okay to use a water lance/pressure washer or will this strip off the sealant.
There are dangers to using pressure washers, you shouldn't point the very powerful ones too closely to broken paintwork, rubber or plastic trim, or especially fabric hoods. But there is no danger that a pressure washer, even the high power high volume diesel driven ones we have could remove a paint sealant. No chance!

I live next to a railway line, will a sealant protect my car for fallout?
A paint sealant makes your paintwork tougher, so it will increase resistance, but unfortunately these metal particles will eventually eat through the sealant the same as they would eat through your paintwork. As they corrode, they release an acid which is very corrosive and will dissolve it's way through most things. Your best option is to keep your car under cover and park that little bit further away from the railway if possible (every foot makes a difference). Do have a paint sealant as this will help, but check your paintwork often and use a clay-bar to clean the rail-dust from the upper surfaces of the car when you wash it.

Does a sealant protect my paintwork from bird poo?
As with rail dust (see above), bird lime can contain acids which are highly corrosive and unfortunately there is very little that can stop them etching, especially in hot weather -- Bird lime actually eats through marble and granite statues! The only way to deal with bird lime is to remove it as soon as possible and neutralize the acid that may have already gotten into the paintwork. Having a paint sealant will give you that little bit longer but the quicker you can do this, the less damage it will cause.
We have seen many cars where the paintwork can be corrected thanks to a sealant where otherwise the etching would have been deep and permanent.

No matter what sealant package you have, (or if you haven't got one at all) we recommend Supagard's Bird Lime Neutraliser. This is a unique product that really works.
We have been in a position where we have used alkaline soaps to neutralize bird lime, we have then wet sanded out the marks and then buffed the damaged area so that you can never tell that the paintwork was ever etched. And yet, a week later the etching has reappeared because acids impregnated into the paintwork have re-activated when they have gotten wet. Supagard's Bird Lime Neutraliser over comes this situation. It's good stuff.

Does the paint sealant give the car a permanent shiny waxed look or do you still need to polish and wax?
Here are two example of cars that have been properly maintained with the products provided or a easily available Wash'&'Wax:-

Example of a 16 year old car, treated with Diamondbrite which has never been waxed or polished.
Example of a 7 year old car treated with Supagard which has never been waxed or polished.
Example of a 6 year old car treated with Supagard which has never been waxed or polished.

If you look after your car as you should, wash it fairly regularly, use the aftercare products, you will find that many years from now your car will still look fairly close to new. Obviously, nothing stays new forever, but the two examples above retained 90% of their original shine long after the guarantee expired... And should you want to bring it back up to nearer 100%, then you can polish it. Doing it just the once should do the trick.

This 7 year old car was treated with Supagard 3 year sealant when new and hasn't been waxed or polished since. This is the result that we got by washing it and drying it -- we didn't even use a Wash'n'Wax, just normal Traffic Film Remover (TFR) low foaming soap. Full article here

The price quoted says full interior/exterior kit. Does this also include protection for the alloys?
Alloy protection comes with the Supagard Pro kit, and if you buy it from us we will apply it. If you get it from the dealerships, usually they don't. It is in the aftercare pack along with the stuff you apply yourself. This causes some confusion to people who think it has been applied.
With all other kits or brands, usually the wheel protection is separate. These wheel sealants are relatively new and until recently a lot of cars came with plastic wheel trims, but times are changing. In the mean time it's best to ask regarding the specific package you are interested in.

How long does it take for you to apply the protection?
For a new car about 3-5 hours. When we do it, we like to have the car for longer so we have plenty of time. If we are applying it to a used car, we will likely need the car for the whole day as there will be far more preparation required.

Would I pay extra for the car to be cleaned/valeted first or is this included in the price?
The car needs to be properly prepared before hand, how much preparation depends on the state of the car. Some cars are driven straight here from the showroom and unless they are contaminated with fallout, will require much less preparation than a car that is 3 years old. We have applied sealants to cars that are 40 years old, although classic cars tend to be kept in immaculate condition, while some 5 year old cars require a lot of work to bring the paintwork up to scratch. So as you can see, we have to charge separately for the cleaning, valeting, paintwork correction. Generally speaking, if you get your car to us within a week of collecting it, there will be no additional charge for us to prepare it as all we have to do is wash it and de-wax it to remove any PDI coatings.

I have a paint sealant, but now have stone chips... how do I get this fixed?
The same as normal. You paint sealant should make no difference to whatever method you use to fix up those stone chips. We have a very lengthy page covering the subject here.
And it's the same with scratches...

"Some scratches have since appeared on my car and am wondering what method I should use to to remove them. I guess the procedure could be different if Supagard paint Sealant is on the car?"
No, the procedure is the same. Just use a polish. If they are too deep to remove, then the panel will require repainting... same as on any other car. The only difference is that you will want to re-apply the sealant onto the panel once it's painted.

My car was paint sealed, so how do I remove the swirl marks?
Most commonly this occurs when swirls were put into the soft new paintwork before the sealant was applied. (New cars do get damaged in transport, and they do have to re-paint panels before they go on sale. They will be buffed at the body-shop and if not done well you can get buffer marks), or a harsh wash regime, can put swirl marks on top of the sealant.
I'm afraid you can't hand polish them out and you can't use a wax product that fills and hides them, if they are under the sealant. You need to machine polish your way through the sealant. Once the car is buffed or machine polished, the sealant will need to be re-applied.
It's pretty much the same story if the swirl marks have been put into the sealant except the person doing the machine polishing will have a slightly easier job.
Using a wax product that contains fillers and diffusers to hide swirls will work if the swirls are on the sealant, any may even have some effect if it is under, and is a cheaper option.

Basically, you need to ensure that the person applying your sealant will prepare the car properly. And once you have the sealant, avoid automated car washes, and those powered by underpaid economic migrants from Eastern Europe. (We have nothing against Eastern Europeans, we just feel that workers are better motivated when they are paid properly).

I had Supagard leather treatment and it didn't leave a shine.
It is not supposed to leave a shine. Most of the cars these days have a matt or satin finish and Supagard UltrPro Leather Barrier Protection Cream will sink in much like a hand cream moisturises and sinks into your hands. It will go on and make the leather slightly darker and shinier until it has fully sunken in. It will leave your leather feeling more supple.

The Supagard products were developed by the same company that supplies hides and finished leather to most the worlds prestige car and aeroplane manufacturers -- they have been supplying leather for coaches for 250 years. So it's little wonder that this is the best product on the market.

Many products such as polishes and dressing claim they can be applied to leather, but only ever use purpose made products. Inferior products can add a shine (which isn't supposed to be there) in the short term, but they destroy leather... we have seen it many times which is why we are very fussy about the leather feeds and conditioners we recommend.

I tested the water repellent properties of my fabric protection and the water soaked in, Has it worn off?
No. In our opinion, the aqua phobic properties of fabric protection is over-sold by both the sealant companies and the salesmen at dealerships. Even on a brand new coating, the water will eventually soak through, but as the car gets older, the water is less likely to be repelled -- this is nothing to worry about.

Not all stain resistant coatings are aqua phobic (repel water), in fact some of them are water based. What they do is coat the fibres of the fabric like a clear dye. Any dye attaches it's self to the fabric by means of a static charge, but when the fabric is dyed at the factory, often some static charge is still left within the fibres and this can cause stuff like Ribena to stick so that it is permanent.
Coating the fibres with a second clear dye uses up this charge so that there is nothing to stick to, therefore your spilt Ribena will simply wash away.
But make no mistake, whatever form your stain resistance coating takes, the seat will still need cleaning... no fabric coating can make the dirt fly into the air and jump out of the window!

Having an aqua phobic version of this product is slightly better, because our hypothetical Ribena will sit on the surface and is easy to mop up. but your fabric is full of tiny holes and has tiny sharp fibres that will break the surface tension of the spilt liquid so that eventually gravity wins and it will soak through. As the car gets older, dust gets into the fabric, this isn't coated and will help the fabric soak up any liquid. If you did manage to make the seats totally waterproof, it wouldn't be able to breath and long journeys would become very uncomfortable if you know what I mean (all the men will know what I mean).

Where you win is that you can clean the seats, either with a spray foam cleaner and microfibre cloth, or with a shampoo machine, and the dirt will lift right out without leaving permanent stains.

My seats are stained despite the protection.
We have heard this only once... the stains did wash out using a shampoo machine.
If your children have had a fast food meal in the car and wiped their greasy fingers all over the seats, it can be difficult to get out and require steam cleaning or shampoo. But with fabric protection in place, at least these stains aren't permanent.

Please note that oils and grease can actually be solvent to modern synthetic fabrics, so address this as soon as possible even if you do have to take the car to a valeters.

I have the wheel sealant, followed the instructions and still can't get my wheels clean.
If you had a full package with wheel protector at the dealership, it is unlikely they actually applied the wheel sealant as it is contained in the after-care kit. So, you have been driving around without protection until the time you decided to use your kit. You may need to get a stronger wheel cleaner so that you get the wheels really clean, then apply the product. Next time your wheels should be much easier to clean.

If you had your sealant done with us, we would have applied the wheel sealant so you won't have this problem.

Can fabric hoods be treated?
Fabric hoods ARE treated at the factory. But fabric hood are exposed to the elements and to a lot of punishment and the aqua phobic coating will wear off. This usually happens first on the lead edge above the windscreen... dirt is abrasive and if it is hitting your car at 70mph as you travel down the motorway, it will cause wear.
All fabric hoods need re-treating every 12-18 months. Supagard do a kit for this, as does Renovo and AutoGlym, all available from your local motor accessory shop. It's best not to think of it as a 'special long life coating', it is a mandatory coating that lasts a year, two years if you keep your car garaged. (We recommend you do it at the beginning of every winter).

Can it be applied to glass?
Yes, it will stick to the glass without smearing, and we like doing this because you can actually feel the difference. Coated glass feels much smoother which is a real testament to what a sealant does. Unfortunately, sealants on glass don't last very long because they don't bond quite as well as they do to paint, and the glass takes quite a bit of punishment from the windscreen wipers. But it can be done.

If you want a glass coating there are a number purpose made ones which will last longer than a paint sealant.

Where can I buy the after care stuff?
You can get it from our sister company: www.valetshop.co.uk

 

How do I apply it myself.
Anyway you want to, it doesn't make any difference to us when we are removing it for you. Just call us on 01245 350035 to book your car in for our Paintwork Correction Service. This usually costs between £400-£800 and we will require a booking deposit -- we accept all major credit cards.
It is for professional application only. Although Sealants do occasionally turn up on places like eBay, it is very unwise to buy them and attempt to apply them yourself. We get lots of emails like this one:-

"Please could you give me a rough idea of the cost to correct the problem I have. Some 2 months ago I had diamondbrite stage 1 and 2 applied to my car following the instructions properly, applying and removing in straight lines, however the car a 2004 Bmw E46 in sapphire black is now covered in Straight Swirl marks which when under light look hideous and makes the car look as though is been washed at your local Kosoven Car wash, not good for a car which has only covered 8K miles. I await your reply."

This is just one of the many e-mails we get from people unhappy with their DIY application.

People think they can apply it themselves because of the fundamental misunderstanding that these products are just like wax. One of the major differences between a polymer sealant and a wax is that they contain no diffusers or fillers to hide scratches, and will in fact make any imperfections in the paint look worse. That's just one of the many problems that can be encountered if the car is not prepared properly and the sealant applied following the correct procedure. Because polymer sealants are permanent and actually last many years past their guarantee life, these problems can be expensive to correct.

Can I have it on my old car?
Yes of course you can! It works just as well on old cars as on new cars. The thing to remember is that a sealant seals in the paintwork you have, and it does very little to correct problems you might have such as stains, swirl marks, fallout, or dull and faded paintwork. So, if you have a car that you want to hang onto, for example an old Golf GTI, MX5 or an old shaped Mini, we suggest you have the paintwork cleaned and buffed so that it looks like new, then have the paintwork sealed in to keep it that way. It's a superb idea to do it to these 'modern classics' but frankly its worth doing to any car of any age that has decent paintwork that you want to preserve.

How can I get it off?
You can't really. It soaks into the uppermost surface of the paintwork, so if you want it removed you will have to remove this too. So in theory you would have to use wet and dry paper to wetsand it off... although, as long as it has been applied properly I can't think of any reason you would want to do this. We certainly wouldn't recommend it.

How long before I need to get it done?
We used to recommend that it be done within the first 6 weeks, but experience has show us that lots of problems can occur in this time so it's best to get it done as soon as possible.

There are various accidents that can befall your car such as scrapes from hedgerows, spillages on the seats etc. But by far the biggest problem we have found is when people wash their own cars. They tend to pull out their old wash kit and cause scratches and swirl marks. We recommend that you throw out your old kit and get some new stuff.
Get a good clean bucket, preferably with a Grit Guard.
Throw away any sponges you might have and get a wash-mt instead. You may also want to invest in a soft body brush and a proper wheel brush.
Get yourself a large microfibre towel for drying the car.

Anna has written a very good 3 part article on how to clean our car. Follow this and you won't go far wrong. But all-in-all, it is better to wait until your car has been paint sealed before washing it.

Does it protect against damage like scratches?
We believe it does help. As we noted above regarding stone chips, a happy side-effect of the treatment seems to be that it makes your paintwork that little bit harder. We are told by our Supagard Rep, that the Supaguard 100+ treatment may add as much as 20 microns to your paintwork (1 micron is one thousandth of a millimetre, so 20 microns is 0.02mm).

So if you have a large 4x4 that you drive down country lanes, it will help protect against the kind of light scratches you get from brushing past overhanging bushes... but it's unlikely to help protect against a deliberate attack by a vandal keying your car.

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This page was last updated on Wed, 25 September, 2013
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